In German, the Ayurvedic discipline "Rasayana" is often translated as rejuvenation or anti-aging of Ayurveda. But is this specialty really only about rejuvenation measures?
In Ayurveda, the term rejuvenation has a much deeper meaning than freedom from wrinkles and beauty. It was about preventing the suffering caused by aging in order to be able to devote more time to spiritual self-realization in the second half of life. Like many Sanskrit words, the term "Rasa" is diverse and holistic, so that it can hardly be translated one-to-one into German. In the Ayurveda literature, terms such as body juice, feeling, plasma (rasa tissue) can be found. Separately, the 6 flavors are also referred to as "Rasa".
The Rasayana discipline can be divided into two areas, namely Rasayana therapy for an optimal condition of the nourishing tissue and behavioral Rasayana for mental and spiritual purity.
Although the Rasayana therapy includes massages, detoxification processes and relaxation techniques in addition to the intake of medicinal plants (Vatapika), in today's Ayurveda it is usually understood to mean the intake of Rasayana plants (Vatapika). According to Ayurvedic texts, this group of plants has a tissue-regenerating effect.
Three examples of typical Rasayana preparations
- Amalaki fruit (Emblica officinalis): The amla fruit develops its effect best when it has been boiled several times and then thickened. Especially ideal for athletes due to the muscle-building, fat-reducing effect, while acidification is buffered at the same time. Amla is available in tablet, capsule or powder form.
- Triphala: A mixed preparation consisting of three fruits Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) and Bibhitaki (Terminalia belerica). A complementary blend of one each Vata, Pitta and Kapha balancing fruit. It supports metabolism, digestion and thereby strengthens all organs. Due to the liver detoxifying effect, it can also prevent age-related visual impairment. In Ayurveda there is a connection between the liver and the eye. As part of a preventive measure, daily before going to bed. (Dosage from 2 g per day). The cooling effect of the mixture can also protect against excessive night sweats.
- Chyavanprash: Named after the holy sage Chyavan, this potentized, rich mixture consisting of over 50 herbs (main ingredient Amalaki) is one of the most effective Rasayana for immune stimulation. Above all, it promotes healthy cell formation and, according to Ayurveda, has an anti-allergic effect. The chyavanprash is available as a paste (Leham). Since it is a supplement, it is usually taken before meals. (Dosage from 1 teaspoon per day)
Contraindications for taking Triphala are excessively soft stools and Chyavanprash is not suitable for diabetics due to the sugar content. These Rasayanas can be used preventively to maintain inner balance. My Indian grandparents used to take triphala and chyavanprash regularly and were able to keep fit into old age. In addition to specific Ayurvedic Rasayana preparations, foods such as milk, ghee, garlic, etc. are also considered Rasayana substances.
In today's Ayurveda, however, the Rasayana therapy of "Kutipravesha" is almost irrelevant. Here, for an astrologically calculated period of time, the patient does spiritual exercises in a special house completely cut off from the outside world, fasts, takes Rasayana preparations and is only given light food.
Behavioral Rasayana (Achara Rasayana)
In order to permanently bring body, mind and soul into harmony, a positive behavior according to Ayurvedic principles is recommended. Behavioral rasayana primarily includes ethical aspects such as love of truth, good behavior towards fellow human beings, devotion to love and compassion, tolerance, altruism, friendly language , inner peace, self-control, cleanliness, etc.
Negative feelings such as jealousy, envy, hate, fear, arrogance and doubt damage the immune system and should therefore not arise in the first place. These feelings reside in the ego (ahamkara) and mind (manas). By promoting positivity, we are able to let go of negative feelings more easily and live from a higher consciousness. Consequently, the tenets of behavioral rasayana can manifest in us more strongly in many ways.
In order to support the purity of the psyche, I recommend the following application techniques and behavior in everyday life.
- Spontaneously and consciously perceiving positive things (the beauty of nature, the sunrise, the wonders of the earth, pleasant fellow human beings, etc.)
- Visualization techniques to increase positivity e.g. "I breathe in light and love and release all anger into the earth's gravity."
- Contemplation techniques, e.g. concentrating on a candle flame with your eyes slightly open for about ten minutes and feeling the power.
- Situational use of an affirmation when negative feelings are triggered: e.g. in the case of envy: "I'm happy about the neighbor's success. etc.” or in the case of hate: “I forgive the ….. and wish that I am forgiven.”
- Preference for high-energy, fresh, nutritious food (milk, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, unprocessed natural products ..= sattvic foods)
- Moderate consumption of sensory overload such as television, computer, mobile phone, radio, especially in the case of negative reports in the media
- Maintain an open culture of discussion in partnership and family
Releasing past distressing feelings is one of the most central ingredients in minimizing ama (undigested material in the body and mind). One of the main causes of Ama is unresolved feelings. According to Ayurveda, Ama represents a breeding ground for diseases.
The original goal in Ayurveda is to strive for the true inner values in order to ultimately achieve spiritual self-realization. Behavioral Rasayana cannot be excluded from the Rasayana discipline and the Ayurvedic lifestyle.
Rasayana is a holistic construct within Ayurveda health science (Swastha vritta), which is related to all other disciplines of Ayurveda.
Many thanks for this article to our guest authorDavid Batra (Magister FH)
Phone: +43 680 12 16 478